Deal reached in ‘Queen’s Gambit’ defamation suit against Netflix
Georgian former chess world champion Nona Gaprindashvili has resolved her legal dispute with Netflix after suing the streaming giant for defamation over its hit show “The Queen’s Gambit,” her attorney said on Sept. 7.
“I am pleased that the matter has been resolved,” Alexander Rufus-Isaacs told AFP.
A court filing the previous day said the case was dismissed with the agreement of all parties, and The Hollywood Reporter website also reported the two sides had reached a deal.
Gaprindashvili sued Netflix in September 2021 for $5 million, claiming a line in the series in which a character claims she had “never faced men” in her career was “grossly sexist and belittling.”
Gaprindashvili had faced dozens of male competitors by 1968, the year in which the wildly popular limited series “The Queen’s Gambit” is mainly set.
Lawyers for Netflix tried to have the suit dismissed on the grounds that the series is a work of fiction and therefore is covered by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which protects free speech.
But a federal judge denied their motion, noting that “the fact that the series was a fictional work does not insulate Netflix from liability for defamation if all the elements of defamation are otherwise present.”
“The Queen’s Gambit,” starring Anya Taylor-Joy, is based on a 1983 novel by Walter Tevis and tells the story of a young orphan who becomes the world’s greatest chess player.
While central character Beth Harmon is fictional, the series features several real-life chess characters, including Gaprindashvili.
Gaprindashvili was the first woman to be awarded the International Chess Federation title of Grandmaster, in 1978.